Best DH's in Pisgah- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best DH's in Pisgah

    We're doing alot of camping in Davidson River this year and I've riden all the trails at the campground on my XC bike. Well, I recently bought a Stinky and are looking forward to doing some of the better DH trails.

    Give me both, shuttle rides and anything I can do myself just incase I can't hookup with anybody to do a shuttle with. I would like to keep it within about a 45 min drive from the campground if possible.

    And unless the weather turns bad, I'll be at Davidson this coming weekend if anybody wants to ride.

    Thanks,
    James

  2. #2
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    All right, here are some of my favorites, I ride an SGS, so I know some good stuff for sure.

    1st, Bennet Gap, for sure, this is a killer trail. Its awesome whether you go straight down it or down Perry Cove.

    2nd, Avery Creek, this trail is killer too, fast and mildly tech

    3rd, Trace Ridge down is really fun too, just wide open balls out with tons of rocks

    Those are some of my favorite ones.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtfulPirate
    All right, here are some of my favorites, I ride an SGS, so I know some good stuff for sure.

    1st, Bennet Gap, for sure, this is a killer trail. Its awesome whether you go straight down it or down Perry Cove.

    2nd, Avery Creek, this trail is killer too, fast and mildly tech

    3rd, Trace Ridge down is really fun too, just wide open balls out with tons of rocks

    Those are some of my favorite ones.
    Thanks TP, but are those shuttle only rides or can they be looped together with others where I can ride by myself if needed?

  4. #4
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    I'll answer for TP, yes, all those can easily be made into "real rides", if you'll pardon the expression. The first two would involve climbing White Pines Road (past the horse stable) and then turning left on Bennet or right on Buckwheat Knob (enjoy the hike-a-bike) and then right on Avery.

    You can get to the top of Trace Ridge via a gravel climb up FS 5000, the left on spencer gap.

  5. #5
    white boy extraordinaire
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    Imho

    I just did Laurel Mtn and must say it is a blast, excellent jump opps (although my poor tiny arms were just too beat up to do it at the end), tight switchbacks, and tons of rocks. The climb up is nice and guaranteed to give you some sort of workout.

    Trace is, like others have said, a full throttle, adrenaline rushing speed demon. One could really haul some [email protected]# here.

    Kitsuma is fun and a great short climb that tests the skills.

    There is one I've heard of that I haven't done that starts at the Little Pisgah ridge tunnel off the BRP. I think it drops 1800` in two miles and supposed to be just killer and drops you out at the trace ridge trailhead.

    my two cents.

    cmweldon

  6. #6
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    shuttles,loops, and a campsite

    Bennet Gap,Buckwheat Knob, and Avery's Creek

    all have to be ridden as a loop at the moment as FS 477 is closed just beyond the horse stables. Best way to ride them on your DH bike is to climb 477 which is about a mile from the Davidson River Campground. Go past the stables, Keep climbing moderatley, pass the interchange of Bennet Gap and Buckwheat knob, trust me this gets good. stay on 477 as it turns downhill, about 1/2 mile from the intersection of Hwy 276 on the north end take a right onto club gap which will dump you on a old gravel road and pass a tower in the fence, take a right again on the signed Club Gap and a right again onto club gap. all of these are very obvious. Climb Club gap to Club gap itself where Black Mtn, Avery's Creek, and Buckwheat Knob lock together. You can either stay straight on the super fast Avery's Creek which is just more speed then technical( this coming from a guy on a hardtail) or take a right and begin a short moderate climb to the top of Buckwheat Knob and the beginning of Satan's Staircase. Buckwheat is really steep in places and has a lot of jumps all the way to the bottom. Then you could cross over and tear up Bennets Gap with the true Satan's Satircase taking over with switchback rock drops that are loose with debris. There is a 5 drop near Perry's Cove that is just plain sick but it can be ridden around. I like to take a left onto Perry's Cove just past the drop, its tight, off camber, and has a few steep places near the top. The bottom just opens up with full throttle speed.

    Big Creek or Little Pisgah Ridge

    a deffinite shuttle ride for a guy on a downhill bike. This ride starts on the parkway by the little Pisgah Tunnel at a old road blocked by a big boulder. Park a car here, about 30 min drive from the campground and a car at the Trace Ridge Trailhead, about 30 min from the top on the parkway. This trail starts as a super fast downhillwith tight switchbacks and some loose stuff. Not really super tech, but alot of fun. I once bounced off this trail at close to 30 mph by examining a rock to closely and had to hike uphill about 120 ft to get back to the trail. The bottom of this trail has some creek crossings and cordiroy for good measure. Highlight: log bridge ride 10 ft above the creek. after you reach the old resevoir its about a mile and a half of gentle climbing to the car at the trace ridge trailhead.

    Farlow Gap

    Can be done as a shuttle or a loop. the bottom is about 15 min from the campground at the Daniel Ridge trailhead which is about a mile or so past the fish Hatchery. Park a car there and ride or shuttle up 475 to Glouscester Gap. Take a right at the intersection of Forest Roads and go four miles, might be tough on a DH bike to a parking area. stay straight as the road becomes trail ignoring any side trails of the Art Lobe trail. Follow this for about a mile or so to a intersection of the unsigned Kinnesse Creek road( actually a wide trail now) to the left, the art Lobe trail to the right and Farlow Gap straight. Stay straight onto the signed Farlow Gap as it starts out as a smooth polished downhill that soon does a Jeykle and Hyde Dance on you. It becomes a unrelenting rock garden that has a huge price for failure. Near the water fall I always have trouble and walk but I have heard of guys ridding most of this section( again I'm on a hardtail and sometimes like to pretend I'm a downhiller). There are a few hike a bike sections but most of the trail is challenging and it drops you onto the rock garden of Daniel Ridge near the river which is always a blast. Watch out for some of the turns as there is one that sneaks up on you and can send you straight onto a gully wall!

    Hope all of this helps.


    Jeremy

  7. #7
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    Yes indeed. The trail is called Big Creek (I think) and it's a great downhill. It's a stop and let your hands cool off if you have v-brakes kind of downhill. To make it a loop, Park at the entrance to Mills River, go up Yellow Gap to Laurel Mtn...stay on that up to the Parkway (Ok, that's slightly illegal, so you would, of course, carry your bike that last 1/4 mile) Ride down the Parkway for a few miles and just BEFORE the Little Pisgah Ridge Tunnel, swoop of to your right. Long downhill to creek, then trail bears hard left and goes to the old Reservoir...climb gravel back to Trace Ridge parking lot...the take the beginning of Wash Creek...stay straight...ford the river....and you're back at the gravel road, take a left back to your car. Nice tough ride with beautiful views...23 miles or so , I think

    CAUTION: Do NOT get the wild idea to do this ride backwards. You will not enjoy the trip up Big Creek. Sometimes when you ride down a trail you don't realize what it would be like coming up. We were looking for a hard singletrack climb. We did not expect to walk 90% of a 2000 foot elevation gain.

  8. #8
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    RE: Farlow Gap. So, would you consider this a fun downhill on a hardtail for fairly experienced XC riders with reasonable tech skills but no real desire to go careening through rock gardens? I have explored Farlow for a few hundred yards past the Daniel Ridge intersection and it seemed sorta unrideable. Is that the worst part? I'm cool with the rocky Daniel Ridge downhill from there, if that helps you judge. Also, is that trail legal? Seasonal?

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    The forest service has been trying to close this trail to mountain bikes for the past few years. Their reasoning is that is sees very minimal use, according the forest service. The last I heard they were pretty close to having it shut down ( 1 - 1/2 years ago). I believe it is signed as no bikes as well, at least where it intersects with Daniel Ridge, if my memory serves me right. I have never ridden Farlow Gap, but have many friends that swear it off like the plague. Do you know anything about the unmarked connecter between Laurel Mountain and Big Creek?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick
    CAUTION: Do NOT get the wild idea to do this ride backwards. You will not enjoy the trip up Big Creek. Sometimes when you ride down a trail you don't realize what it would be like coming up. We were looking for a hard singletrack climb. We did not expect to walk 90% of a 2000 foot elevation gain.
    I second that! Last fall we rode up Big Creek and took the "no name" trail that heads up the mountain to the Laurel Mtn. trail. It was the longest steepest push I have ever done in my 15 years of mountainbiking.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punker
    Do you know anything about the unmarked connecter between Laurel Mountain and Big Creek?
    Thats the trail I am refering to in my post above. I rode down it last weekend and it was a fun, but short and steep. Worth doing once, but next time I will probably head on up to the parkway and come down Big Creek.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the help. I'll dig out my map before the weekend and plot all the rides everyone has mentioned. Probably do the ones close to the campground this weekend, but I'll definitely be looking forward to the others.

  13. #13
    Do It Yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punker
    The forest service has been trying to close this trail to mountain bikes for the past few years. Their reasoning is that is sees very minimal use, according the forest service. The last I heard they were pretty close to having it shut down ( 1 - 1/2 years ago). I believe it is signed as no bikes as well, at least where it intersects with Daniel Ridge, if my memory serves me right. I have never ridden Farlow Gap, but have many friends that swear it off like the plague. Do you know anything about the unmarked connecter between Laurel Mountain and Big Creek?
    Farlow is clearly marked no bikes on the map, the sign at the bottom says no bikes but the sign isn't marked as such. This definitely puts it in the grey area at best and illegal at worst. It has a ton of field stone and is a lot of hiking on sections that are completely unrideable. As mentioned above, to get the top you would have to ride the Art Loeb trail (hiking only). Another no-no. I really wouldn't recommend anyone ride this trail.

  14. #14
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    Farlow Gap is legal from 229

    I know for a fact Farlow Gap is legal from FS 229 to Daniel Ridge. You must ride it in the direction Posted!! From FS 229 to Daniel's Ridge. The map is marked incorrectly. It is true that Farlow is illegial from Daniel Ridge back to FS 229 though. You do not have to ride Art Lobe trail to get to Falow Gap. The map again is incorrectly marked. If you look at the map where FS 229 and and FS 140 A (Kinesse Crk Rd) connect, Farlow Gap actually comes off of there. I was also a race corrdinator for the Swank 65 mountain bike adventure where we used Farlow Gap as the final descent. The forest service does not allow hiking only trails to be opened to bikes race or not! Farlow Gap is deffintley a legal trail and legal to get to.

    Jeremy

  15. #15
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    what would be the rationale for making a trail one way? I understand on a heavily used loop, but Farlow? Not that I'm complaining...the forest service is pretty amazingly reasonalbe compared to other places you hear about.

  16. #16
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    Re: Farlow Gap

    If you look at the document entitle January 2004 proposal Plan of Action located on the website for The National Forest in North Carolina and look at the section on the Pisgah District, you will see that there is a plan to close Farlow Gap to mountain bikes. The plan is to implement the closing sometime this year.

  17. #17
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    I can't believe no mentioned...

    Black Mtn, this is longest DH in Pisgah. It is a hike a bike to get to the very top of Black Mtn, but the DH is the best.

    Kitsuma is the fastest and most fun.

    I would also hit Pickleshimer Fields - Cat Gap & Butter Gap - before it closes 4/15.

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